New technology from NeoStem Inc has allowed researchers to use stem cells taken from adult cells to grow bone tissue in patients recovering from dental implants. The technology purifies very small embryonic like (VSEL) stem cells that are derived from the adult cells of the patient so that these VSEL stem cells can be used for treatment. This avoids the controversial use of embryonic stem cells taken from a fetus by instead utilizing a patient’s own cells. The benefit of the VSEL stem cells is that it uses stem cells from a patient’s own body that can then be transplanted back into the same patient.
The first step is to harvest the patient’s cells from a target region. As you may know, adults have small amounts of stem cells in various tissues throughout the body. The NeoStem technology isolates VSEL stem cells from other collected adult cells for a more concentrated population of stem cells. Researchers can then implant these purified VSEL stem cells back into the target area of the patient for growth.
The clinical research is being conducted at the University of Michigan Dental School and is intended to be used for patients who need bone tissue recovery. Usually when a patient needs a dental implant after a tooth extraction, it takes about 2-4 months for the implant to fuse with the mandibular bone tissue. This bone growth is usually painful so the use of VSEL stem cells would allow for a faster recovery from this procedure and other bone traumas. This higher concentration of stem cells could also lead to the development of stronger bone. This type of technology is a great step forward for using adult stem cells for certain treatments and can hopefully lead to some other stem cell therapies.
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